#760 Really, really selling it while barbecuing in the backyard

getting it startedThat thick, smoky barbecue smell floats through the yard and everybody starts salivating for dinner.

Yes, sizzling sides of beef and black-burnt weiners are coming right up when the sun’s dropping, the party’s hopping, and your friends are all chilling with ice-clinking drinks on your backyard patio. And if you’re in charge of grilling up dinner, then there aren’t many things that scream I’m Serious About This more than really, really selling it to all your friends. Oh sure, some things come close such as:

  • owning a shiny, oversized nine-piece barbecue tool set and having it folded open on the picnic table
  • not leaving the barbecue area at any point and even holding onto the handle when the lid is down to make sure nobody attempts to flip burgers when you aren’t looking
  • wearing a giant apron with your name on it
  • asking everybody constant questions at all times such as “Did you say medium or medium-well?” and “You’re toasted, you’re toasted, you’re untoasted, right?”

9 piece bbq tool setYeah, don’t get me wrong, all those things shout I’m Serious About This, too. But nothing quite screams it like really selling it to the crowd. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever hammed it up with any of these classic moves:

  • “Dog up, I gotta dog up, who wants a dog?!”
  • “Come on Andrew, you’re not eating salad, are you? Come on, how many more can I sign you up for? Two at least?”
  • (walking around the deck with raised eyebrows holding a cold cheeseburger on your BBQ flipper and occasionally waggling it in someone’s face)
  • “Okay, I got a slightly burnt one. Who likes them nice and crispy? Nice and crispy one here, everybody. Niiiiiice and crispy.”

Yes, if you’re getting your barbecue groove on strong and you’re rocking the sales pitch long then kudos to you. Every deck party needs somebody to tell everybody else to eat more burgers. So today we salute you for embracing the job. You sold it. We bought it. And now we’re all feeling stuffed, bloated, and so completely

AWESOME!

Cheeseburger, I gotta cheeseburger he-ah!Photos from: here, here,and here

— Check out my new podcast 3 Books with Neil Pasricha

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#761 Bag Fries

You must look withinHey, eating in the car is tough.

Weaving that big, bulky clunk of metal through highway traffic, off off-ramps, over speed bumps, and into parallel parking spots is no small feat. And you know what makes it even tougher? Having a hot, crumpled bag of steamy Drive-Thru riding shotgun, that’s what.

Yes, resisting the temptation is tough, but then again unwrapping a sloppy, mustard-dripping burger over the steering wheel probably isn’t good for anybody. So there’s really only one option to satisfy your urges to both eat and live.

That’s right: dip your hand into the crinkly paper well and squeeze it between the cool packs of ketchup, big wad of napkins, and waxy-wrapped burgers, until you find that little treasure trove of spilled fries at the bottom of the bag. It’s a bit like panning for gold and is known as the Pre-Lunch Munch in some circles.

Also, we can’t forget the Classic Afterburn maneuver. Yes, extra fries at the bottom of the bag star again, but this time they’re the cold, limp n’ salty chasers that follow your last slurp of bland, watered-down cola. Yes, we both know you’ve got to finish the meal off with a flavor-saving punch and the extra fries at the bottom of the bag will do the job just fine.

So dip that hand in deep, give it a swirl, and chomp on a nice little bite of

AWESOME!

He could use a supersizePhotos from: here and here

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#764 All-Day Bedhead

This baby is cool.Sure, anybody can wake up with some serious bedhead.

Tangled dreads, pillow-dented part, static-flared bangs — whatever you got, we’ll take it. Much like rain hair, bedhead is your temporary ticket to Cowlick Country, a place where looks just don’t matter. It’s fun to take a trip and enjoy your citizenship before shampoo, hair straighteners, and sculpting clay step in to mess things up.

It's usually in a nice container and a lot more expensiveAnd hey, don’t look at me, I play the game, too. I shampoo, condition, and run Glue Stick over my head in the mornings. And sure, I check myself out in the mirror throughout the day to make sure I’m still going bald and double-checking that my sideburns remain extremely uneven.

But I guess that’s what makes getting away from it all so great. I mean, just look at babies of the world with their Always-On Bedhead, sometimes for years on end. Folks, it’s like I always say: we can learn much from the baby.

Now don’t get jaded in your old age. There are some classic ways you can still pull it off:

keep-this-going-all-day-long-for-the-win• No-Time Bedhead. This is where you wake up in a panic an hour late and barely have time to throw on jeans and grab your keys before bolting out the door for work. This is accidental bedhead that may result in some worried finger-combing on the bus or a splash of water from the bathroom sink later on. Still, you got bedhead all day and that’s what counts here. 5 points.

• Lazy Sunday Bedhead. You wake up at noon, throw on some sweats, have some good friends over and play video games all day. Or maybe you channel surf with your boyfriend on the futon or watch a golf tournament with Grandpa. Either way, no showering or leaving the house is involved so the bedhead lives long and lives strong. 10 points.

high qualityJust Don’t Care Bedhead. Top of the charts right here. This is where your day actually involves going out and doing things, but you just don’t care about your sharp, sideways bedhead. If you can pull off grocery shopping, going to class, or hitting the mall with jagged, bent-up hair, then you win. Note that this is not the same as Fake Bedhead, which involves applying a series of creams and lotions in an attempt to give yourself bedhead-looking hair. No, we’re talking about cruising around town with the real thing here, people. 25 points.

Yes, bedhead is a temporary escape from that Hair Prison we all live in everyday. Freeing your hair is the first step to freeing your mind and freeing your life. When you get up and just let it go you sort of let yourself go for a moment, too.

Suddenly Juggling Jane relaxes into cool, casual Leg-Stubble-N-Sweatpants Babe who’s much more fun to cuddle up with under a warm blanket in front of a flickering television. And Suit-and-Tie Sam melts into our old pal Couch-Dent Sam, who laughs at all our jokes and doesn’t take himself so seriously.

Bedhead all day long, people.

Because sometimes it’s great to ditch the comb and just see what happens.

AWESOME!

10 out of 10Photos from: here, here, here, here, and here

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#766 When the store only has one shirt left and it’s in your size

clothes rackIt all starts with The Hunt.

Mall-walking, clothes-shopping, you’re searching for cute tops and a new pair of jeans. You pop into stores, you do the Figure-8 Walk Around, you pop right out. You pinch fabrics, peek at wash instructions, and hold pants in front of mirrors, bending knees, biting lips, and flipping over price tags.

Sure, everything’s fine and everything’s dandy until later in the afternoon, when you’re still empty-handed and your legs start burning, your boyfriend starts whining, and you get really, really, really, really, really, really thirsty.

But you don’t stop, won’t stop, can’t stop the walking, just can’t stop the shopping. So you keep going, keep plugging, keep trudging along. You keep moving, keep motoring, keep soldiering strong. No, you won’t quit, won’t split, won’t call it a day. You won’t run, won’t ditch, till you find a shirt and pay.

So you keep looking and looking until it finally comes — that moment where you spot a perfect top glowing from the other side of the store. You hold your breath, run over to check, and the color looks good, the material looks good, the price looks good, the wash instructions look good, but …

After three hoursDo they have it in your size?

Panic sets in as you begin frantically flipping through the hangers. Shoot, XXL, XXL, XXL, XL. As you flip you suddenly start worrying that you wasted the day. Your calves ache and your stomach rumbles and you ask yourself: Did I survive six hours on a Dilly Bar for nothing?

But then just as the worry is settling in, putting its feet up, and getting comfortable …

It happens.

You find one.

Clouds part, sun shines, bugles blare, and angels sing, as you somehow manage to score the absolute last item in your size at the store. Oh, you’re buzzing free and your brain flies as you enjoy one of the three versions of this classic high:

  • Version 1: Back o’ the rack. Just as you’re getting bummed out by all the oddball sizes, you eventually find your perfect shape chilling out in the shadows at the back. Good find!
  • Version 2: Lost in Thread Paradise. Hey, employees struggle to keep restocking customer throwaways so sometimes that perfect shirt gets lost in thread paradise. You discover it hanging with the wrong clothes, crunched in a ball in the change room, or laying on the counter behind the cashier. Good find!
  • Version 3: Same solar system, different planet. Now, this isn’t technically the last of your size in the store, but it’s still a classic. Here’s where you start crying on the floor and pounding your fist into the ground until a friendly cashier calls a nearby store and has them hold one for you. Good find!
So now you’re laughing.
.
You grab your bag, stretch your back, and walk the long walk back to the car. Sun setting over the parking lot, you feel a mixed bag of energy, excitement, and accomplishment. Now the day feels productive and well-spent. You got exercise, your boyfriend survived, and you came, you saw, and you conquered.
.
AWESOME!
Dairy Queen Dilly Bar
Photos from: here and here
— Check out my new podcast 3 Books with Neil Pasricha

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#768 Sneaking under someone’s umbrella

Squeeze in and squeeze outOkay, who’s the smart one who brought an umbrella? Because I know it’s not me.

No, when the sky cracks up and the rain smacks down, I’m the one wearing heavy jeans and a thick, spongy sweater that soaks up everything and turns me into swampy slab of peat bog. Yes, I’m drenched, I’m dripping, I’m ice-chilled to the bone.

But that’s what makes it so great when it starts coming down and out pops a giant umbrella from a friend who offers to gimme shelter for a few minutes. Yes, if your special someone is packing some giant nylon heat, then I think it’s fair to say you’re smiling high, your clothes are dry, and you’re rocking the streets under a tiny little patch of

AWESOME!

Out of harm's wayPhotos from: here and here

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